Cats, unlike dogs, are very picky eaters. There are even a number of good jokes about cats and their poor eating habits. It’s all fun and jokes though until your cat refuses to eat outright for longer periods on end – not for the lack of food and or varieties, but just because they don’t want to.
What should you do when your cat not eating?
No amount of asking the cat will get you any reasonable answer whatsoever, unless you have somehow managed to crack the meaning behind every meow.
If, like most people, you also start panicking when your cat is snubbing all the food you are giving it, this article is aimed at demystifying the causes, what to do when you find out your cat has fallen in this pool and when to see the vet, if necessary at all.
Why is My Cat Not Eating?
First things first, are you sure your cooking skills are that good? Okay, that’s a joke (or is it?).
If your cat has suddenly developed an appetite for not eating, they could be diagnosed with anorexia. That is a disorder common in human beings but it finds its way into animals too. Quite frankly, there are a good number of reasons why your cat might be anorexic.
As your pet’s primary caregiver, you should look through all of the causative factors below to determine the likely causes of your cat’s new eating disorder.
Cats are very great at hiding illnesses until it gets very bad. That is why we will always advise a trip to the vet frequently to check on the overall health of your feline. Just like humans, a loss of appetite is not inevitable when the body is not at a hundred percent.
Likewise, some illnesses and diseases impact the rate at which your cat eats or not. Some of these are kidney failure, pancreatic diseases, intestinal problems, dental problems and cancer. Some of these illnesses are prone to some cat breeds more than others. A good knowledge of your cat’s breed information will come in handy here.
However, you should not assume the worst early on. Just like the cause of injury is not always a bullet wound, so is the cause of your cat’s not eating always a sign of some hidden cancer.
Infographic Kitten Vaccination Schedule Guide By Best1x.com
Vaccines and drugs will continue to have a side effect on a smaller percentage of the overall population – a percentage which your cat might fall in. Should your cat not be eating well after being taken for some shots, they could be experiencing the side effects of the vaccines.
That does not mean your cat should not take vaccines anymore. Quite the contrary. Vaccines are lifesavers for your cats and medical practitioners have already accounted for those side effects. The best news is that should this be the case, your cat is bound to get over it soon.
Change in Food Brands
Vegans won’t eat meat for anything. That is the same way your cat might have its preference for some food brands over others. Recently changed the supplier of your cat’s food? Or did you just switch from processed food to homecooked meals for your cat?
Maybe it’s that you switched the kind of cooked food you are giving it. Whatever the case is, you should revert to the meal your cat was comfortable with and see if things change.
Food is Cold
Some cats will not eat cold food to save their own lives. The reason your cat might not be eating could simply be because you’ve stored that food in the refrigerator for too long.
Food is Smelly
You should have known by now that cats are very concerned about their toilet hygiene. What you should also know is that they take food hygiene almost as serious, if not more.
If you have been using plastic plates to serve food to your cat, it is easier for germs to grow in such conditions. Changing to metal plates will guard against that and reduce the case of foul smells coming from the cat’s food
Sometimes, it’s just that your cat is tired of the flavors in the food. Mind switching things up?
Cats may be predators in their own rights, but they are extremely sensitive ones too. If you notice that your cat starts to show increased signs of stress, that might be the reason behind their new-found eating disorder.
The causes of stress could be a change in the environment (during travels or a full change of living area), due to the presence of other animals and/ or people in the house. In this case, it is not that your cat is not hungry. However, their metabolism does not support eating at this time due to the psychological state the cat is in.
Food bowl location
In a bid to keep things organized, many of us have found ourselves putting the food bowl in the same place as the cat’s water bowl and litter box. I am no soothsayer but I can tell you that cats will avoid eating in such situations almost everytime.
Why? In nature, these places are separated. The cat’s instincts tell it that it does not poop where it eats and water is not necessarily close to where it gets its food. When they see all three in the same place, we can almost imagine them thinking up a conspiracy theory in their head as to why that is all shades of wrong.
What to do when your cat is not eating
So, we have identified the reasons why your cat might not be eating. If you find yourself in this fix, what should you do?
Depending on the cause of the problem, you will want to address the needs of the cat first and see if the condition changes.
In the case of a cat that just got vaccination/ new pills, you might want to watch the condition play out for a while. It would not hurt to place a call through to your vet and confirm if the loss of appetite is part of the expected side effects for whatever medication the cat got. Being sure and equally timely about the case is very important.
Did you recently change food brands? Convert to the old one and see if the cat eats again. You might want to take some of the food to them and see if they take to it before you expect them to come back to the food plate.
More often than not, turning away from the food bowl once might leave the impression that the same kind of food will always turn up there from then on in the mind of the cat.
When your cat’s food is cold, heating it up to room temperature is recommended. You can do this in a number of ways. Some will advise microwaving the food. Personally, I prefer thawing frozen food out slowly by placing it in a bowl of hot water till it gets to room temperature.
The importance of this heating process is that it gets all the flavors and aromas out again, making the food even more appealing to your cat than it was before.
17 Things Your Cat Would Love to Tell You by RD
Finally, changing the food bowl from plastic material to metallic bowls will reduce cases of germs populating the meals faster and a putrid smell coming from it.
When to See the Vet
If no other self-diagnosis works, it may be that your cat has an illness or disease they are dealing with. Ring up the vet and secure an appointment as fast as possible.
Likewise, if you are not comfortable waiting hours to diagnose the cause of the situation yourself, reaching out to your vet is highly recommended.
If your cat has not eaten for a day or two, you should seek immediate help. Otherwise, you risk causing irrevocable damage to the cat’s internal organs. Seek all the professional help you need to ensure your beloved feline starts munching down all those food again in no time.
If you found a diagnosis to your cat’s eating problem here, let us know about it in the comment box. By chance, if your cat is not eating for something other than the points stated here, we will like to hear your side of the story too.